Today is the day of days. This afternoon Bethany and I are starting our summer adventure to France. We are going to be gone form the 9th till the 24th. We are more than excited to say the least. Our plan includes visiting Paris, Honfleur, D-day beaches, Mont St. Michel, Amboise, St. Émilion, and Agen. The first half is a road trip to all the above places and during the second half we will be in Agen with my exchange family. We hope to keep you up to date while we are on the road.
A lot of people hate to travel. Well maybe I should say that I hate to see most people travel. Mostly because they look like they aren’t enjoying it. I think that the majority of people hate traveling because they don’t know how to travel correctly. Yes, there is a right and a wrong way to travel. Here are three keys to successful traveling;
1. Mental Attitude
Attitude is everything when traveling. So many people forget that the trip really isn’t about the places you see or if you baggage makes it to the airport with you. Traveling is about the journey, the people you are with, and the people you meet. If you set off as Debbie Downer, then you will hate your trip. Even if everything goes great you will still hate the trip.
But, if you have an attitude that says, “No mater what happens or how bad it gets, I am going to have fun.” then you will have fun. In the mist of bad situations, (like being held in the Senegal Airport by security, or having a small boy spill hot coffee on my lap in the plane, or boarding a plane with a crazy African drug lord…maybe a bit of exaggeration on that last one…) I always say, “Man this is going to make a great story!”
Also, have the attitude of a local, not a tourist. Ask the locals where they eat and where they like to go. Adapting to the culture will change the way you travel.
Attitude = everything
2. Physical Space
My biggest pet peeve is when people stop on the moving sidewalk with their crazy large bags! I can’t stand this; especially when two people are standing side by side and you can’t get around them. The moving sidewalk is not so you can be a lazy American, it is so that you can run insanely fast in an airport!
All this to say that packing light is important. The number one complaint that people have about trips is that they lost their baggage. My family and I have found a method that is flawless. If you use this method, you will never lose your bags during flight. The answer? Pack in one bag that is small enough to be a carry on.
Doing this has major advantages; 1) never have to check bags, 2) Don’t have to wait 30 min or an hour to get your bags at the baggage claim, 3) You can go anywhere, ride any train, bus, or plane and never have to carry around a large bag because your stuff can go with you. 4) Check out of hotels earlier and not have to carry your large bag all over Paris.
So how do you know what to take on the trip? If you won’t wear it 3 times or more, don’t bring it.
Small bags = ease, time saved, and flexibility.
3. Be Flexible
No matter what, things never go as planed. Just roll with the punches and have a good time. Being content in all situations can make anything tolerable. Be flexible, be flexible be flexible.
Here is a photo of everything that we packed.